Village News Reporter
Despite the loss of their top runner to illness, the Fallbrook High School girls placed 10th among Division II teams at the CIF San Diego Section cross country championship meet Nov. 11 at Morley Field in San Diego.
Cross country team scores add the positions of a school's first five finishers; the sixth and seventh finishers from each team are not scored but can add points to opponents' totals. Fallbrook had a total of 250 points.
“I’m really proud of the girls who ran today,” said Fallbrook coach Ciera Holland. “They put 100% into the season, and all of them gave it their best.”
Current senior Abby Petersen was 13th in the 2021 Division II race and seventh last year. Petersen had been battling illness and had to drop out after the first mile of this year’s CIF race.
“She’s been a great team captain throughout the entire season,” Holland said. “I am still so proud of her.”
The 10 fastest runners in each race at the CIF meet receive all-CIF first team designation while the next 10 finishers are placed on the all-CIF second team. Although Petersen was unable to repeat her all-CIF accolades, senior Avery Lynas had the 18th-place time of 20:29.1 on the 2.96-mile course to earn an all-CIF berth on the second team.
“Avery had one of her best races today,” Holland said. “She really stepped it up.”
Lynas took 39th place last year with a time of 21:42.7. An injury during her sophomore season kept her out of the 2021 CIF meet. The coronavirus shutdown delayed the start of the 2020-21 CIF seasons and there was no CIF cross country meet during Lynas’ freshman year.
“Today just really proved how much she’s been working and how hard she’s been working,” Holland said. “She’s a team leader. She’s such a strong athlete.”
With 21:01.6 elapsed in the race, Mia Cyr became the second Fallbrook runner, the 27th overall harrier, and the fifth freshman to cross the finish line.
For the second consecutive year current junior Cynthia Mills finished 56th in the CIF Division II girls race. Mills, whose time was 22:13.7 in 2022, had a time of 22:28.4 this year.
Each team is allowed seven runners at the CIF meet. Fallbrook had six, including Petersen. The other two Warriors are juniors who made their CIF meet debuts this year. Litzy Lopez had the 74th-place time of 23:42.6 and Anicka Hanewinckel finished in 24:10.3 for 81st place.
Two runners who finished ahead of Hanewinckel were on teams which did not have the minimum five harriers for a team score, so Hanewinckel was scored as being in 79th place.
San Ysidro placed eighth with 225 points and Bonita Vista had 238 points for ninth place. The 11th-place school, Hilltop, had 280 points.